"The Sacred Morel" A special delicacy from the burnt forest to your plate
This mushroom is one of those luxury ingredients that your favourite Food Network chefs love so much. They have been used as foods and medical substances for a long history
In this blog, you will learn all you need to know about this mushroom and how it can enrich your diet with its unique yummy characteristics
As a superfood company, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality wild harvest available in Canada. Each morel carries a wild story from the recently burnt forest caused by Canadian wildfires. From the picker scouting the past year fires looking for these treasured forest delicacy they are, hiding under logs or around rivers, stemming from the hot burnt charcoal, and finding their way to make some of the best meals you can taste!
For mushroom hunters in the temperate regions of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, nothing signifies the beginning of spring more than the first appearance of morel mushrooms or Morchella. These mushrooms are arguably considered among the most prized mushrooms, valued for their rarity, health benefits, and umami flavor
While most morel enthusiasts cherish this particular mushroom for its exceptional taste and culinary applicability, less attention is given to its physiological effects on the body. This is unfortunate, because, like many members of the fungal kingdom, morel mushrooms possess important nutritional and medicinal properties that can play key roles in optimizing the health of those who consume them
Let us explore their background and positive health benefits
Well, we know that morels belong to the family of Morchellaceae and their Scientific name is Morchella esculenta
They mainly consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids, which are also responsible for its complex sensory attributes and health benefits
The bioactive compounds in morels including polysaccharides, phenolics, tocopherols, and ergosterols contribute to the anti-oxidative abilities, anti-inflammation, immunoprotection, gut health preservation, and anti-cancer abilities
There's much more...
Let us look in more detail at 7 unique characteristics that this mushroom has for us:
1- Vitamin D
Morels exposed to sunlight drying method carry the highest amount of vitamin-D among the edible mushrooms. 206 IU or 34% daily required levels of vitamin-D in 100 grams, mostly in the form of ergocalciferol (vit.D-2). This fat-soluble vitamin is labeled as "hormone" for its role in the bone growth, and calcium metabolism. Long story short, they're great to be used as a vitamin D supplement.
Morels contain lots of antioxidants that are good in protecting your body from free radicals. These free radicals could often be the cause of heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Type 1, and Type 2 Diabetes. Studies have shown that extracts from morel mycelium are effective in combating oxidation. This is primarily accomplished through the scavenging of damaging molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), including the superoxide, hydroxyl, and nitric oxide radicals.
Antioxidants from morel mushrooms have also been shown to inhibit lipid peroxidation – a process involving tissue damage which, if left unchecked, can lead to inflammation and cancer.
Morels have also been shown to be high in this essential trace element that functions as co-factor for many oxidative enzymes involved in cellular metabolism. It is also required for blood cell production (hemtopoiesis), and neurotransmission.
An essential nutrient that plays a vital role in cellular metaboilsm, mucosal regeneration, immune function, and reproductive organ growth.
5- Liver protection
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is an inorganic compound which has been linked to disorders of the central nervous system and kidneys. Research on animals has shown that administration of CCl4 with ethanol damages the liver by, among other things, depleting internal antioxidant stores. When supplied with an extract of morel mycelium, however, protection is provided against liver damage, and antioxidant reserves can be restored.
This suggests that morel mushroom mycelium may provide therapeutic use as a liver-protecting agent (6).
6. Boosts Immune Function
Although more studies are needed in humans, preliminary research suggests that certain compounds found within morels could rev up immune function and relieve inflammation in the body.
A 2002 study analyzed the immuno-stimulatory property of a unique polysaccharide isolated from the morel mushroom. Known as galactomannan, this compound comprises 2.0% of the dry fungal material, and may work on both innate immunity and adaptive immunity by enhancing macrophage activity.
Another study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology demonstrated that a polysaccharide extract of the morel mushroom was able to enhance the activity and anti-inflammatory properties of immune cells. Another study had similar findings, showing that polysaccharides found within the mushrooms could act as immunomodulatory agents in vitro.
7- Rich enzymes for great metabolism
Additionally, these mushrooms are an excellent source of the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin (14% of RDA per 100 g), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). Altogether, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism inside the human body.
8- Bonus point!
They're crunchy, tasty, and more nutritious when you sprinkle pine pollen on top of the meal to make a perfect balance of nutritional goodness
To summarize this story about the ever-elusive great morel, it is definitely an excellent wild food that is worth adding it to your diet.
New studies are being conducted all the time so who knows how many other health benefits it may have that we don’t even know about yet!
How to prepare them:
Morels retain their flavor even after dying. Dry morels should be reconstituted by soaking them in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Soaking swells them up, regaining their original conical shape. Dry mop using a paper towel. Slice lengthwise or quarterly as you may desire in cooking.
• Morels can be stewed, braised or cooked in main dishes meat like rice, poultry, game, and fish (wild caught halibut with morels and baked cod with morels).
• Traditionally, morel mushrooms enjoyed pan fried in butter and garlic cloves, with addition of some salt and pepper.
• Slices of morel can be added to soups.
• Fine sliced, diced morel can also be used as add ons in pizza, pasta, risotto, etc
We hope you give them a try, and let us know what recipes you use them for. We would love to hear from you. Pictures are always welcomed too.
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